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Cooling the Commons: Pilot Research Report
Cooling the Commons: Pilot Research Report
This pilot study provides initial insights into how residents living in Western Sydney keep cool during the hottest parts of the year and how they would like to see their living environments, at home and out and about, modified to improve wellbeing in a climate changing world. The research responds to the lack of qualitative information about: day to day living practices in outer suburban Sydney; the constraints people experience when trying to keep cool; and, people’s aspirations for more comfortable living environments. The study reviewed factors that combine to produce urban heating in Sydney’s rapidly developing urban fringe and the key socio-environmental issues that researchers have identified as important. These include the health effects of periods of extreme heat and the loss of shading and cooling effects as the tree canopy is further degraded. Our research highlighted the dearth of information about how residents move around in space and interact with the physical environment and in turn how the changing built environment on the urban fringe is shaping new forms of individual and social behaviour.
Education for Sustainable Development Report 2015: Contribution to Quality Education in Australian Schools
Education for Sustainable Development Report 2015: Contribution to Quality Education in Australian Schools
There are many definitions of sustainable development, and it can be better understood as an emerging vision, rather than a neatly defined concept or model. It is not a fixed notion, but rather a process of change in the relationships between social, economic, and natural systems and processes. Many schools and school systems that have embraced the concepts of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) through their policies, practice and curricula have reported improvements in student academic achievement, attendance, student intellectual engagement and student/student, student/teacher relationships. At the same time, some school systems have been reluctant to include ESD in their programs fearing that this may dilute or interfere with their current program focus aimed narrowly at improving students’ test scores. This project, conducted in Australia and in a number of countries overseas, is the initial phase of an ongoing project to explore the relationship between ESD and the pursuit of quality education. It is an attempt to better understand the potential synergy in merging these two goals and to realise the opportunities that exist to share common goals.